Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fantasies of the Unconscious - If buildings could speak

If buildings could speak ... what would the iconic Saint Joseph's Institution in Bras Basah Road say ...

My sons ... many have moved on and grown old. Young, eager faces take their place and time marches on. They no longer call me home. A new building far away has replaced me. I too have changed. I too have grown old but my memories are many.

I remember the sounds of laughter that used to echo through my halls, boys in white eager to learn, more eager still to play. How we crammed more than a 1000 into a courtyard for morning assembly back then, I will never know. Everything looked so much bigger when you are younger.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fantasies of the Unconscious - Creatures of the dappled light

There's much to see at the Raffles Museum
There's much to see at the Raffles Museum
It was a pleasant surprise reading the newspapers of late with all the calls for the setting up of a Natural History Museum here in Singapore.

Being a skeptic at heart, I wondered more than once if this was the work of a small vocal lobby group trying to rally public opinion to further an isolated cause or did it really represent a new-found national consciousness to bring back into the spotlight, some long-forgotten gems of our natural history.

For me, visiting the old National Museum in Stamford Road as a kid was such a treat. An animal lover at heart, walking along those corridors, standing in awe in the presence of creatures of the dappled light, certainly fired the imagination of a young mind.

I stood eyeball to eyeball with a tiger and tried to fathom the last thoughts that went through her head when she met her fate probably from the business end of a gun. Were there some cubs waiting for her back in a den somewhere? Was she distressed that her forest home was being invaded by those thoughtless animals that walked on two legs?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Saul of Cyrene

Saul of Cyrene, (born 37BC, died 47AD) was said to have been a close follower of Jesus Christ having followed him and his disciples around Galilee. He spent his later days in the remote hills of Cyrene in present-day Shahhat, Libya  as a reclusive seer and wrote extensively about his experience.
Many of his journals and his obscure predictions have been lost in time but in 2003 archaeologists digging near the village of Shahhat were reported to have recovered some of his writings sealed in clay jars. To date these have not been released for public scrutiny.

Some biblical scholars believe Saul of Cyrene was actually Simon the man who is claimed in the bible to have helped carry the cross of Christ (Mark 15:21 and parallels). Also in Acts2:10 where Jews from Cyrene heard the disciples speaking in their own language in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost; 6:9, Simon (or Saul) is thought to have been in that group.

One apocalyptic prediction attributed, without verification, to Saul of Cyrene reads:
‘A second star, angry and red, from the east will rise.
Trembling in fear, the tribes witness a temple reborn.
Men will fall, seduced by the false denarius
As the advent of the horsemen draw near.’

Kinda scary to think about it really.

See saulofcyrene.wordpress.com for more information.